More Information About Bauhinia
The genus Bauhinia is fairly large with over 200 generally tropic species around the world, which means they are unfamiliar to most of us in the temperate US. We have found Bauhinia yunnanensis and Bauhinia forficata to be cold hardy for us and are trialing several others to see if they might also be cold hardy. Bauhinia is in the pea family (Fabaceae) which means the plants fix nitrogen and fertilize the soil in which they grow. In the wild, bauhinia are trees or vines that can reach 35' or more, but here in our Raleigh garden they are dieback perennials that stay much shorter. In late summer, bauhinia plants flower with light pink/purple or white flowers that are more orchid-like than pea-like (they are in a sub-genus that does not produce a keel).
Bauhinia prefers full sun and slightly acidic soil. Generous amounts of water are needed to maximize growth, but well-drained soils are required for the roots to survive the winter without rotting. Try combining bauhinia with other hardy tropicals such as canna, musa, or curcuma to make a tropical paradise in your temperate garden. When you are ready to buy bauhinia for your perennial garden or home, we hope you'll check out our list of bauhinia for sale.